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Advertisers Reveal Plans For 55th Annual Super Bowl

January 8, 2021 Sarah Cavill

Shutterstock_1021838398 Group of friends sport fans watching rugby match victory

In 2020, more than 102 million people tuned into Super Bowl LIV, and it was the most live-streamed Super Bowl in history, with many viewers watching on Fox and NFL apps and streaming options. As usual, the 2020 Super Bowl was also a huge day for advertising, setting a record breaking “$435 million in in-game advertising revenue for host network Fox,” according to Adweek. Super Bowl LIV was also pre-pandemic, and many have wondered whether this year’s big game will have the same advertiser participation and fan engagement.

For some viewers, the commercials are more interesting than the Super Bowl game. And, after a somewhat strange NFL season, this year’s game in Tampa is likely to feel very different than past years. However, many brands have already released their plans for advertising during the big game with some usual suspects, like TurboTax, Pringles and Mars Wrigley coming back for more. Not surprisingly, some brands have decided to sit this year out, and instead make a big splash in 2022, when the game – and ad budgets – are hopefully returned to normal. Here’s a round-up of advertisers that have committed to Super Bowl LV so far.

TurboTax Returns To Super Bowl LV With A New Ad Spot And Expanded Sponsorship Role

Last year, TurboTax culminated their “All People Are Tax People” campaign with two Super Bowl commercials featuring the “knee wobble” dance and tax preparation rap. This year, the company says its Super Bowl LV spot will be scaled back but will have concurrent executions across social media and other channels in order to have a meaningful impact. In a joint press release with the NFL, TurboTax parent company Intuit also announced a renewed and expanded sponsorship role with the NFL through 2022: “As the presenting sponsorship of both 2020 AFC and NFC Divisional and Championship games, TurboTax Live branding will be featured during the 2020 AFC and NFC Divisional and Championship Games as well as within ancillary programming and content across league broadcast and digital media platforms. Fans can also look forward to seeing TurboTax Live return to NFL Super Bowl LV for its eighth consecutive year. Intuit will also continue to be the NFL’s official sponsor for financial and accounting software, and tax preparation services.”

Pringles Set To Debut Their New Look And Flavor Stacking Spot During Super Bowl LV

Since 2018, the first foray for Pringles at the Super Bowl, the CPG brand has used the hilarity that ensues with obsessive Pringles flavor stacking as their Super Bowl ad inspiration, and this year will be another take on the fun, identifiable theme for the product. Pringles will also be debuting their new packaging or “glow up” in this year’s Super Bowl LV spot — the first Pringles makeover in 20 years. The new packaging will also roll out across digital channels. “We're really happy that Pringles will be back in the Big Game in 2021,” said Gareth Maguire, senior director of marketing for Pringles. “We know that this coming year's Big Game day experience will be different, with more fans watching from home, it will definitely be huge TV and social media day for us to showcase the fun consumers can have creating Pringles Flavor Stacks.”

Mars Wrigley And The M&M ‘Spokescandies’ Returning For Sixth Super Bowl 

Mars Wrigley And The M&M ‘Spokescandies’

One of the unknowns for advertising prognosticators this year is how brands will create commercial spots that are interesting and fun, without being tone deaf to the ongoing issues around the world. It’s likely commercials will be a combination of directly addressing issues, like the pandemic, and offering playful distractions. The Mars Wrigley, Super Bowl LV spot will feature the M&M spokescandies and focus on connection, a theme that many viewers can relate to. “The biggest moments deserve the biggest brands, and after an unprecedented and unexpected year, we're excited to bring M&M'S back to the Super Bowl to bring fans better moments and more smiles," said Sarah Long, Mars Wrigley North America CMO.

Anheuser-Busch And Toyota Will Also Be Back, But Details Are TBD

Although most participating brands have already completed their creative development, details remain scarce. Anheuser-Busch, Toyota, Mtn Dew and WeatherTech are all set to debut spots at Super Bowl LV, with specifics expected to be released closer to game day, February 7.

As with so much of the last year, the tone and success of the event and advertising is likely to be predicated on what is happening around the country. Many consumers have turned to advertisers during this time of uncertainty, expecting them to take a stand on issues like COVID-19 and racial justice, so it’s likely those issues will be reflected on game day. And, it wouldn’t be the first time Super Bowl commercials tackled tough subjects. The concurrent launch of campaigns across other digital media channels will also have an impact on consumer response to brand messaging. Ultimately though, the Super Bowl is a fun day that people want to enjoy as an escape from reality, so brands will need to walk a fine line with their advertising strategies. 

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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